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Renouncing the sin of racism

Dear Friends on the Journey,

Last week, I emphasized that we are not “reopening” the Paulist Center because we never closed in the first place. Many parts of our community have been “being Church” for the last number of weeks.

This week, I want to raise up another way that the Church has not been closed and to ask you to examine how you have “kept the Church open” in your own situation. The home is the locus of the domestic Church. (Many of you are not in a nuclear family as such, and so your expression of Church finds other locales.)

For the last few weeks of the Easter Season, in place of reciting the Creed, we have been renewing our baptismal promises. In those promises, we renounce sin in order to live in the freedom of God’s children. The sin of racism led to the death of George Floyd and countless others. This sin, in its particularity and in its systemic expression, beckons all Christians to work for a overcome it systemic hold over us. As Pope Francis said this week, “we cannot tolerate or turn a blind eye to racism in any form and yet claim to defend the sacredness of life.” Our Church treasure the value of all life, not matter what race. Our faith, based on the Bible, claims that humankind is made “in the image and likeness of God.” (Genesis 1:26-27, read at the Easter Vigil). See also Galatians 3:25-30:

“in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith. As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise.”

I conclude from the National Association of Black Catholic Administrators:

“As racism continues to manifest itself through our country, we must strengthen our efforts in continuing Christ’s work of reconciliation. Our Christian faith calls us to see each other universally as members of God’s family; therefore, our faith also calls us to confront and overcome racism…we also stand in passionate support of our communities that are understandably outraged. We, as a Church, must find ways to understand the pain of our brothers and sisters and respond to the hurt with the love that Christ demonstrates to us.”

In our domestic churches, I invite you to pray over, and teach your children, these bedrock affirmations of our Christian faith. If we can teach these in our domestic Churches, we will have a stronger and needed voice in our larger American conversation.

1) Trinity Sunday, June 7 th, Live Streamed Liturgy/Mass from the Chapel, at 12N:

Here’s the link:

2) Paulist Center Families Prayer Service, 10 am, Sunday 6/7
Please click here to join us:
Meeting ID: 972 5247 4747, Password: 037026, One tap mobile
+16465588656,,97252474747#,,1#,037026# US (New York)

+13017158592,,97252474747#,,1#,037026# US (Germantown)

3) All are welcome to a prayer gathering with/from the Paulist Center’s LGBTQ+ prayer next Wednesday, June 11 th , 7pm. The link is for this
week: The reflector will be Paula

4) Connect for a Chat. Patty Simpson will be offering an hour a week for any Paulist Center members who might want to connect. Patty has in mind especially those who aren’t connected into any other small groups. You can join the conversation on Thursday, June 12, 7-8pm through this link. Also if anyone wishes to connect with Patty either on phone or video session, just email her or leave a message on her phone (617.948.2428) and she will get back to you ASAP.

Ways of Giving:

Our “Community Gift” is our tradition of giving away 5% of our weekend
offerings, averaged out over the whole year, to a group outside of ourselves. This week, we lift up the Catholic Near East Welfare Association. CNEWA supports the Eastern churches and devoted religious sisters — who run clinics, schools, orphanages and other sanctuaries. As one sister explains, “we don’t help people because they’re Christian. We help because we are.” CNEWA operates in the Middle East, Northeast Africa, India, and parts of Eastern Europe.

We are so very grateful for your support during this time of uncertainly and financial peril. Here are two ways to give:

To make a one-time or recurring donation using your bank account or credit card, click on the following link:
Giving by text: Text 844-899-7511 with the amount you would like to donate (whole dollars only). Donations collected this way will be designated as part of the “Weekend Offering.”

An idea: a couple Paulist Center members, receiving the Stimulus Check of $1200 but still being fully employed, gave a half of that check to the Paulist Center Community. What a great idea!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

I conclude with the wise words of St. Teresa of Avila:

Nothing can trouble,
nothing can frighten.
Those who seek God shall
never go wanting.
Nothing can trouble,
nothing can frighten.
God alone fills us.

And let us pray for/with one another.

Michael McGarry, C.S.P.
Director, the Paulist Center

Along with Patty, Chuck, Susan, Peter, Kristin, Dorothy, Alvaro, Barbara, Rob, and Sal. Please feel free to call upon your Pastoral Ministers if you wish.

I will be sending out something every Thursday or Friday as the “shut down” continues.

Keeping the Faith During the Time of Coronavirus